17th IB suffers early punishment in Kalinga; 5ID spokesperson and 17th IB lied to save face

Tipon Gil-ayab
Lejo Cawilan Command
May 10, 2013

The newly-transferred 17th IB was ambushed by a unit of NPA-Kalinga on the evening of May 8, 2013.  Initial field reports received by the Lejo Cawilan Command indicate that the incident took place at the roadside of Sitio Patiking, Bagumbayan, Tabuk, when Red Fighters fired upon a lone army vehicle.  Two (2) soldiers were killed, six (6) were wounded, and the NPA unit carted away 1 M16 rifle, along with other logistics.  The Philippine Army unit included an Intelligence Officer of the 5ID, who were among those killed.

Philippine Army units in Kalinga were dispatched in areas believed to be strongholds of the NPA, as part of the Aquino Government’s campaign to malign and defeat legal and progressive party lists, in clear violation of COMELEC guidelines.  These Philippine Army units have been destroying campaign paraphernalia of these partylists, and are posting materials against the same.  As always, the AFP makes a mockery of supposed democratic processes.  Since May 4, Philippine Army units were deployed in Lubuagan; and since May 8 in barangays Balantoy, Poblacion, and Mabaca of Balbalan; Asibanglan, Pinukpuk; Guinaang and Bagtayan, Pasil, among others.

5ID Spokesperson Col. Magundayao is a big liar, claiming that the ambush took place on the morning of May 9, 2013, and that the army unit was part of a convoy of PNP and COMELEC delegation, dispatched to deliver PCOS machines in Lubuagan.  The AFP is covering-up a tactical error, and is using the May 13 elections to villify the NPA, depicting the real people’s army as “enemies of democracy”.  Malacanang was quick to believe it’s running dogs in the AFP, and condemned the NPA declaring, as always, that they “will pursue and punish the perpetrators.”  The 17th IB is also spreading lies in Kalinga that the ambush was planned by progressive partylists, and a vice-gubernatorial candidate.

Philippine Army units have long been conducting special operations team-type (SOT) internal security operations (ISO), now called “Peace and Development Team” (PDT) operations, under Oplan Bayanihan.  The AFP claims that troops involved in these operations are non-combatants, claiming that they only implement projects; but in fact, these PDTs are deodorized SOT units, implementing triad operations that include combat, intelligence and civil-military components, and as such, are regular targets of all NPA units.  These PDTs have long been violating the International Humanitarian Laws (IHL), Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Laws (CAHRIHL), and certain provisions of the Indigenous People’s Rights Law.  PDTs are based in barangay halls, day care centers, or in houses at the center of the barrio.  They use civilian vehicles and force civilians to procure and/or deliver supplies, logistics, and communications.

The NPA will continue to launch tactical offensives against the AFP and PNP, the primary instruments of the Aquino Regime in mocking so-called democratic processes such as elections, the main culprits in perpetrating human rights violations, and the security forces of big business interests in the province such as corporate mining, and geothermal and hydro-electric projects.  We will intensify attacks because of the Aquino Regime’s junking of the peace talks between the NDFP and the GPH.  And surely, the NPA, along with the entire revolutionary movement and the broad Filipino masses, will deafeat Oplan Bayanihan, and carry forward the national democratic revolution to strategic stalemate until final victory!